News center
Let's strategize together to create a beneficial solution.

Historic clan seat castle being sold by family at offers over £975,000

Oct 19, 2023

Towie Barclay Castle, the historic Aberdeenshire seat of the Barclay clan, has been put up for sale by the Ellington family at offers over £975,000.

Property agent Savills noted the site at Towie had been the seat of the Barclay clan from 1136. Towie Barclay Castle itself dates from the 1500s.

Savills said: "This fine fortified tower house had, by the 1950s, fallen into a state of serious...dereliction. Renovation began in the 1970s with a complete, and award-winning, restoration programme later undertaken by the current owners, the Ellington family."

It added: "Internationally recognised as one of the finest domestic building restorations to have taken place in Scotland this century, the transformation of Towie Barclay Castle is a feat of dedication and craftsmanship."

Savills noted that the castle is an L-plan tower house, declaring: "Although of incredible historic stature it has been a much-loved and cherished family home for over 50 years."

Historic details include the coat of arms of the Barclay family, a shot hole for defending the castle against attack, and small spy holes or "laird's lugs" within the staircase for listening to conversations in the passageway.

Other highlights include timber beams from the 1500s and a "16th century Italian painted panel of the Last Supper".

The Great Hall has a vaulted ceiling and minstrels’ gallery, which Savills noted had been "a secret chapel" at the time of the Reformation.

The property agent said: "While the property reflects centuries of history, the castle is also very functional as a comfortable permanent residence…

"The Great Hall on the first floor is an extraordinary piece of history but also works as a fabulous entertaining room as does the adjacent drawing room. Located on the second floor is the library as the ultimate peaceful retreat, while the top floor commands incredible views of the surrounding countryside. There are six bedrooms in all and two bathrooms."

Included in the sale is Gardener's Cottage, a three-bedroom property which Savills said "could be used for multi-generational living or for generating holiday let income, as it has in the past". Outbuildings include a former carriage building, stable block and hayloft.

The castle grounds extend to around 2.7 acres and include a courtyard along with a formal garden with pink gravel paths, shaped lawns and cultivated flowerbeds and borders.

Fiona Gormley, of Savills, said: "The sale of Towie Barclay Castle is without a doubt one of the most exciting launches to the Aberdeenshire market this year, and represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to purchase a historic home.

"This remarkable example of restoration work is testament to the dedication of the sellers and will be an incredible acquisition for the next custodian."